By Matt Dolloff, 985TheSportsHub.com
Dayton tight end Adam Trautman confirmed to reporters at the NFL Combine that the Patriots are among the teams that have met with him.
Trautman projects to be one of the first tight ends off the board at the 2020 NFL Draft, which takes place April 23-25 in Las Vegas, but not necessarily in the first round. He’ll participate in drills on Thursday during the first day of Combine workouts in Indianapolis. Via NBC Sports Boston’s Phil Perry, Trautman said the Patriots’ overall “mentality” stood out to him in their meeting.
“That’s definitely the type of franchise I could see myself playing for. That type of mentality and attitude,” Trautman said.
Trautman’s game tape against San Diego from 2019 paints as close to a complete picture of him as you can find. He’s a sure-handed pass-catching tight end who has a knack for getting open and being elusive after the catch. He’s not the most dominant or consistent blocker, but he’s certainly willing to stick his nose in there, which is pretty much half the battle in the pros.
Some mechanical refinements could make Trautman a better blocker, but he has a chance to contribute as a receiver in the short to intermediate areas of the field right away. His physical profile (6-foot-5, 255 pounds) is what the Patriots typically like at the position. He also probably won’t require a first-round pick and might be available in the range of pick No. 87, where the Patriots are selecting as of Tuesday.
One of the knocks against Trautman may be that he faced low-level competition at Dayton, which competes in the Pioneer Football League against programs like San Diego, Butler, and Marist. But he did play in a pro-style offense at Dayton and reportedly earned high praise at the Senior Bowl.
The Patriots appear to be prioritizing tight end this offseason. Reports have surfaced of their interest in trading for Ravens tight end Hayden Hurst. They’ll have a potential big-name free-agent target available in Austin Hooper. Between the draft, free agency, and possible trades, they certainly have plenty of options to revamp the position.
Trautman is one of several notable tight end prospects who confirmed that they’ve met with the Patriots at or before the Combine. That list also includes Oregon’s Jacob Breeland, Washington’s Hunter Bryant, Vanderbilt’s Jared Pinkney, and LSU’s Stephen Sullivan. You can see every player who’s met with the Patriots so far at 98.5 The Sports Hub’s own Combine tracker.
Matt Dolloff is a digital producer for 985TheSportsHub.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of 98.5 The Sports Hub, Beasley Media Group, or any subsidiaries. Have a news tip, question, or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.